Natural remedies for colds, flu, and infection

Ultan Molloy, MPSI, HealthWest Community Pharmacy gives some advice on taking natural remedies.

Vitamin C

Many people use vitamin C to fight off colds and flus. Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties are beneficial and it is essential to the development and maintenance of blood vessels, cartilage, and connective tissue.


Commonly called the purple coneflower, echinacea tincture and tablets are proposed to naturally boost your immune system and prevent colds and flus. Taking echinacea while you are ill can reduce the severity and duration of your symptoms.


The antibacterial effects of garlic have been known since the 1940s. It also has beneficial effects on digestion and is claimed to help prevent heart disease including atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.  


Manuka honey comes from New Zealand and has excellent antibacterial and antiviral activity and can be used for sore throats.  


Both zinc gluconate and zinc gluconate glycine (the formulation used in lozenges ) have been shown in clinical trials to shorten the duration of symptoms of the common cold.


A multivitamin is a preparation intended to supplement a human diet with vitamins, dietary and other nutritional elements.  If you feel you may be lacking in vitamins or minerals, ask for advice on an appropriate supplement for you. Iron should not be taken routinely.

Good bacteria

Probiotics are beneficial friendly bacteria that live in the intestines that help the body to function properly.  Taking probiotics when you are on antibiotics will replace some of the good bacteria killed by the antibiotics.  

Contact Ultan Molloy, MPSI , BPharm (Hons ), MSc, MA, Cert Clin Pharm at HealthWest Community Pharmacy, Ballindine, on 094 936 4712.


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